It’s over. Four months of mostly nothing but salads.
I wanted to lose some weight. I started at 175.5 lb (79.8 kg) and have ended at 162 lb (73.6 kg). So call it down 13 pounds. Not quite a stone (14 lb), as they say in England.
No regrets. It’s been fun, an adventure, especially since my wife was involved. My suit pants fit again. My family bought me an expensive sturdy belt that will support my holster, and it fits for the first time.
As a reminder: I’ve just been eating twice daily, without snacking in-betweeen meals. Compared to thrice daily meals plus snacking, twice daily meals makes more sense to me from an evolutionary and physiological viewpoint. Eating just twice daily may increase autophagy.
Avoiding weight regain! And trying to maintain or improve my health as I age. I feel like I’ve really been “eating healthy.” My plan is to continue eating just two meals a day, one of which will be a gourmet salad. The other will include animal proteins, cooked vegetables, legumes, and fruit. I tend to prefer low-carb types of fruits and vegetables.
High Blood Pressure
I don’t remember if I’ve shared with you the effect of this diet on my blood pressure. Starting in January 2017, my blood pressures were hitting 160/110, 150/100 more commonly. Sometimes 170 systolic. For a few years before that, pressures were borderline high. I’m old school, so tend to define hypertension as 140/90 or higher on multiple occasions. In 2017, the American Heart Association re-defined hypertension as pressures over 130/80. Those numbers make half of the U.S. adult population hypertensive and candidates for drug therapy! And it runs in my family.
I started an antihypertensive drug, amlodipine, in late December 2017. Before that, I tried magnesium supplements and hibiscus tea: no help. I reduced alcohol consumption: no help. My amlodipine dose initially was 5 mg/day, then 10 mg/day. The higher dose caused some minor but definite swelling in my feet. To decrease the swelling (edema), I reduced the dose to 5 mg/day. On Feb 6, 2018, I started this Nuttin’ But Salads experiment. That dose reduction indeed reduced my edema. On Feb 12, my records show the lower dose still controlling my pressure.
After nine weeks of the Nuttin’ But Salads experiment, I noticed my pressures were 120/85 or lower. I stopped amlodipine April 9. By April 21, pressures were rising a little but no higher than 130/90. Edema gone almost immediately.
As I write this, my BP after a 12-hr shift at the hospital is 124/91. The recent average is about 130/92. Not great, but I’m happy with it and not inclined to go back on drug therapy.
Why is my BP lower now? It may well be the salad diet. But also consider my weight loss or much lower alcohol consumption. I’m still drinking hibiscus tea and taking a magnesium supplement, but I was doing that before the salad experiment. I’ll also admit my stress levels may be lower, too.
One of these days I’ll do a nutrient analysis of my salad diet and probably share it with you. I’d love to know if others would see reduced blood pressure with this way of eating, whether or not weight loss was involved or needed.
P.S. I wouldn’t be surprised if my diet has been “deficient” in calcium and vitamin D. Whether or not that matters is another issue.